Delta Introduces New Business Class Seat for Boeing 767-400s – Huge Disappointment

Delta’s CEO seemingly told employees that their 767-400s would get new suites in business class with doors. Unfortunately this is not what’s happening. There’s going to be a new seat, better than the current 767 seat, but uncompetitive compared to what other airlines will be flying on some similar routes.

Here’s what Delta’s Ed Bastian told employees in the fall,

What we’re doing is we’re re-outfitting the entire 76-400 to be consistent with the product you see on the Airbus A350 with the new Delta One suites which we’re also putting on the 777s and we’ll eventually roll it out through all of our international widebodies.

You’ll have the new Delta premium select product which is a business cabin for international, you’ll have the suites the enclosed suites in the DeltaOne first class cabin and enhancements in the main cabin as well.

In fact it turns out they’re going to be new seats, but without the door. (HT: Rene’s Points)


Credit: Delta

Currently Delta outfits their 767s with ‘Thompson Vantage’ seats. That’s the same thing American Airlines and several European carriers have in their 767s. It’s a lie flat seat that gives you aisle access, but it’s narrow and I find it uncomfortable for sleeping — like a coffin — and at least for me impossible to sleep on my back because lack of shoulder width.

The looks to be a better product, and we’ll see in practice whether it surpasses United’s Polaris seats which they’re outfitting in Boeing 767s.

Delta, however, says they’re going to use 767-400s for all of their New York and Boston – London flights starting this fall. That means they’re going to use this equipment to compete against British Airways new business class suites into the future, excellent Super Diamond seats with doors.

And it means they’ll be using 767s without suites to compete against American Airlines whose worst seat into London Heathrow will be their ‘concept D’ lie flat — suggesting that all of American’s seats will beat Delta’s.


American Airlines Concept D Business Class

That may not ultimately matter because Delta’s schedule and reliability in New York is strong enough and American has backed off of competing in New York. Delta has also bulked up in Boston to where they lag JetBlue — but JetBlue doesn’t (yet) fly to London. For connecting passengers with a choice, though, I’d choose American in business to London (and eventually, perhaps, British Airways once they finally roll out their new seat).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. AA truly has the best international hard product verses DL and UA. Premium Economy on virtually every viable wide body, new planes like the 787 coming fast to replace out of date 767 verses try to retrofit them and updates to the 777 put AA heads and shoulders above the rest. Love the new walk up snack stations and recent food changes too. DL still has the service edge but I see glimmers of improvement (even pride) on some AA flights recently. UA is still far behind both and will be playing catch up for a while.

  2. This looks like they are rehabbing the existing seat, maintaining the frame of it and upgrading some aspects. At the very least, the picture indicates it will remain 1-2-1 so I highly doubt they’ve improved any aspect of space – be it shoulder or footwell.

  3. @ Sun Viking, I agree.
    On the story…. for some reason everyone expects better of Delta, but I don’t know why.
    They have not missed an opportunity to stick their thumb in the eye of their premium customers since Ed Bastion became CEO. So what’s new here? So-so planes with so-so seats. Way to go Delta!

  4. “That means they’re going to use this equipment to compete against British Airways new business class suites into the future, excellent Super Diamond seats with doors.”

    Yes, in 2035 when BA actually rolls out its new J product on a meaningful portion of the fleet.

  5. “It’s a lie flat seat that gives you aisle access, but it’s narrow and I find it uncomfortable for sleeping — like a coffin — and at least for me impossible to sleep on my back because lack of shoulder width.”

    Maybe don’t be so damn fat then…

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